Thursday, December 31, 2015

Becoming an early morning exerciser...part two

The hardest part is over once you get out of the house...and I did it!  Yep that's right, I got to the gym just before 7am (I'm going to work on getting that to an earlier time, but you've got to start somewhere).  Monday-Tuesday at the gym, and Wednesday I tried out a yoga class at Ultimate Pilates in Glendora.  Thursday, I opted out but still got up early...but my muscles were super sore so I took a day of rest.  

The benefits of being an early riser/exerciser have yet to be determined on my part.  I have yet to notice a boost in energy or productivity.  While I do seem to make better food choices throughout the day I still struggle with the late night binge.  I'm going to keep it up though because I know it takes time to adjust.  Here are a couple of links to check out:

Now let me tell you about my yoga class.  I signed up online with the Mind Body app.  For me it's super beneficial that I book a class ahead of time.  If it's booked I have to be there.  Ultimate Pilates had a deal where you could purchase an unlimited week of classes for $25.  Yoga, Wednesday morning with Lucas was awesome.  There were a total of four students (so lots of individual attention and adjustments were available).  He was a fun yoga teacher too...picture a funny Disney Jungle Cruise operator but nice. The class ran 75 minutes and let me tell you I can feel the difference an extra 15 minutes makes.  My legs and thighs, arms and shoulders are very sore today (but it's that good sore...accomplished sore).  Next up is Booty Barre Flex and Flow (again love that I am already booked for a Saturday morning excuses).

Happy New Year to you, cheers to this being a great year for all of us! Have a safe and happy new year's eve and I'll see ya next year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Out with old and in with the new

Dear 2015,
You were not my year.  You did teach me some lessons though, and for that I thank you.  I spent much too much of this year in tears, too much time was wasted on frustration/anger and the sadness that accompanies those feelings.  There were good times too and in the years to come I'll just try to remember those. 
Sincerely...good bye and good riddance.

Dear 2016, 
Be kind to me.  Please help me to find work that is worthwhile and that I feel good about at the end of the day.  Help me to keep in mind that my health should be a priority as I tend to forget when I pass sugary temptations...and can become much too comfy on the couch when I know I should be doing something (anything really).  Find ways for me to be comfortable in my own skin, allow me to be happy with who I am without comparing myself to others (but a good version of myself...the healthy, go getter version if you please).  Lastly (for now) make sure that I take plenty of time for those that I care about so that there is never any doubt about much I love them.  
Thanks in advance!

Cheers to 2016, ready set go. 

& You my dear readers? Anything you'd like to put out here in our little universe?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Becoming an early morning exerciser...step one

I got on a Pinterest kick the other night and took multiple clicks all over the Internet world reading all about how to be motivated to get up early and workout.  Tips and tricks abounded to get up and about first thing in the AM.  

I went ahead and grabbed my gym bag...threw a towel in, considered what else to put in but planned on coming home to take a shower after so nothing else seemed essential. Tossed a gym outfit on top of it and got my shoes laid out.  Next up: alarm.  Set my alarm for 6 am and put it on top of the gym clothes so that I would need to physically get up to turn off the alarm.  I even added a note to the alarm of "Turn on a light" because some articles said that it would wake me up more.  

I went to bed all prepped for my morning workout.  When I woke up it was closer to 9 am...I hadn't actually turned on the alarm.  This was right before Christmas and I had wanted to get the last minute stuff done, so I just up and showered and got on with the day.  My stuff is still sitting there waiting to go.  

I'm going to start my week off fresh tomorrow.  So tomorrow begins my step two: actually going to the gym (early...aiming for 6:15ish).  I felt like maybe I should blog it out, just so I can be accountable.  Wish me luck!   

Step one in review: 

  1. Prep your gym stuff the night before (clothes, sports bra, socks, shoes, towel, and anything else you may need)
  2. Set your alarm (and turn it ON)
  3. Turn on a light when you first get up (supposed to help with like circadian rhythm or some such thing)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Winter...even in southern Calfornia

Ok, I get that compared to other parts of the world I shouldn't really be complaining about the weather and I'm not really. My complaint is with my skin...somehow despite my best efforts to take care of it I've ended up with an obnoxious little red irritated patch of dry skin in the center of my face!  

Not sure if it's the combo of cooler air outside and warm dry air inside, if I'm not staying hydrated enough or if one of my little samples was just not right for me.  The hardest part of skin care has to be patience when something goes wrong.

I alternated between using Dermalogica's Barrier Repair and good old Aloe Vera.  Still took a few days to clear up, and when I felt a tiny bit more confident (and when it was getting a little flaky) I added an exfoliant to the mix (Dermalogica's Microfoliant).  At night I'd use a layer of Eminence Organic's Linden Calendula Treatment for dry/dehydrated skin and make sure my humidifier was on.  I've tried to up my tea intake as it's been too chilly for my usual large glass of iced water.  

winter skin helpers

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Just Dance
Headed out last (rainy) Saturday night to a Winter Solstice Dance Party.  It started out with some cleansing sage, writing out our intentions and lighting candles...then we danced. We danced sooo much.  This little dance party was held at Studio A Dance in Silver Lake and hosted by Melissa and Shashona who were so awesome (energetic, kind, and encouraging) and so welcoming. have not danced in too long...and I have the two left feet and spastic arms to prove it.  Somewhere in the middle I forget which is left and which is right...but it's okay.  What I've learned in taking a lot of group classes is that no body really cares...most people are focusing on either the teacher or not running into their neighbor. (Side note: during one class my teacher was my neighbor and I nearly took him down.)  If you are ever in a class and catch someone looking it's most likely that your doing something correctly (or gracefully) and that person wants to be like you.  What I truly love about these group dance class/workouts is that once every so often I catch myself feeling there is a moment where I actually get it and it's great.  These moments are fleeting but when it's over I know I did something.  

If you are reluctant to get out there and try a dance class, I get it...but believe me when I tell you that after the class you'll be a little more proud of yourself.  Be kind to yourself.  In an effort to be kind to myself, I'm going to find some dance classes I can take (that are a bit closer to me than driving out to LA...this is kind to myself because I'll spend less time in traffic).

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Relaxing and Recharging

Last week I went out to Glendale to take a Relax and Recharge workshop at the Heartbeat House.  Luisa lead us through "moving meditation, breath work, yin stretching and chakra release".  I really enjoy Luisa's classes (she also teaches Yoga Booty Ballet), she just has a great energy...very positive.  A little positivity can go a long way.

(Note/Reminder to self)
It was a very interesting 2 hour workshop...and it kind of flew by.  I like the idea of setting intentions, and appreciate reminders through out the class...because on my own it's like in one ear out the other, or um, in my mind and then not.  My intentions are like my abs...I seem to only be able to focus on them for a very short period of time.  Both things I should spend a little more time focusing on.  See handy dandy chart below for guidance on intention...I found this very helpful as I tend to focus on feelings first. 

Next up, a Winter Solstice Dance Party.  Happy to have been invited, as I mentioned this time of year can be a little rough around the edges for me.  I need to feel a little bit of the obligation (for example: meeting a friend) to get myself out of the house around the holidays.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

brushing up...a quick guide to dry body brushing

Brush your hair, brush your teeth, brush your skin.  Yeah, add another brushing to your to-do list. I picked up a brush off of Amazon for around five dollars a while back.  Even though I keep it in the bath room I consistently forget to use it.  When I do though, I totally notice the difference.  If I kept it up on a regular basis I would probably see even more benefits.  Mostly I notice the circulation and exfoliation.  Better to do the dry brushing before a morning shower as it really seems to wake you up and leave you a little tingly. needed: Just a body brush, stiff but still flexible. 
The basics: Starting at your feet brush upward in circular strokes (toward the heart).  Then hop in your shower.  See, it's just a quick little addition to your morning routine.  After your shower make sure to moisturize, it's ideal to do when your skin is damp and pores are open.  

Interested in learning a little more?  Here you go:

Cheers my friends and don't forget your SPF even though it's December! 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Thai Massage round two Took myself for a massage as a post birthday treat.  Went back to Sukho Thai Healing Center in Glendora.  I really enjoy calling ahead to be at a place and having them say "see you in 10 minutes."  Hooray for semi-instant gratification! 

Lois was my therapist for this session and she twisted me up like a little pretzel.  I heard my back crack from positions I would not have thought possible, which is not something I would generally go for but I was okay with it.  Don't get me wrong I'm all for the the gentle ease of a Swedish style massage...but there is something about leaving from a Thai massage where your muscles and knots feel all wrung out of you.  It's relaxing, but also energizing....if those can be simultaneous.
Based of this little guide to benefits, I would have to agree.  This is not a regular massage with a lot of soothing strokes, you'll get some of that but there is a lot of twisting and pulling which is what I think is really helping with relieving tension.  It's almost like assisted Yoga in some positions, like a way to get deeper into the stretches.

I went for a Thai massage once before, see post  Oh my Thai for that experience. I liked my second visit a little more, maybe because I knew what I was getting myself into...but also because I really felt like my whole self more relaxed. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Birthday Freebies for Novembers

Over the years I've learned a very important lesson regarding picking up my free birthday it before Thanksgiving! Aside from when I worked in a mall I generally try to avoid them during the holiday season.  Thank goodness for online shopping.

I've gotten them though from both Sephora and ULTA.  All about the lips this year.  

Must say that I'm pretty happy with the lip gloss from ULTA which is an $18 value and in a pretty pink can never really have too many lip glosses if you ask me.  I never did receive my birthday e-mail from ULTA and went ahead and used their "Contact Us" info on their website.  Based off some comments I read on FB I'm not the only one who did not receive the e-mail.  

The nice thing about Sephora is that you don't need to have an e-mail redemption code, you just visit the store give them your phone number (or Beauty Insider card...but who carries that around?) and they give you your treat.  This year it was a set of 2 Nars lip pencils.  I'm a little more fond of the lighter shade.  In general Nars is a little out of my price range, but something I do like to splurge on from time to time.  

The super bonus about these is that they are calorie free.  I feel like the majority of birthday clubs come from various restaurants for burgers and desserts.  I'll take the make up every time it lasts longer anyway. 

Cheers to you (& happy birthday to me).

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Mask: Honeydew & Chamomile was winter in southern California earlier this week...for like two and half days.  It got a little chilly and really windy there for a minute.  I'm not complaining (I'd ask for a little rain but we have El Nino to look forward too).  The change in temps and wind do tend to dry out my skin rather quickly so I'm glad I picked up the Freeman Honeydew & Chamomile Sleeping Mask.

I picked up the trial size mask for about $2 at the drug store (a full size is about $5 to $7, depending where you look online, I have not seen the full size in store). These are also available online at Ulta and I think that sometimes they have a pretty nifty deal to go with it.  

I appreciate that Melon and Chamomile are actually near the top of the ingredient listThe trial size was good for 2 nights of masking (and a tiny bit of moisture on the third night).  I liked the light scent and that my skin felt hydrated when I woke up in the morning.  I would for sure pick this up again. 

*Their packaging states that it is not tested on animals, however there is some disagreement on the net about how truly cruelty free they are.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

An open letter to the world World,

I generally keep my thoughts on world views and politics to myself as there are plenty of opinions floating around the web as is.  What I'm looking for I suppose are answers.  How can people continue to treat each other so badly? What are we leaving for the future generations? 

The negativity is suffocating. There is so much finger pointing and so much blame...but where are the solutions? I wish I had some to offer up...but I too am at a loss.  

The best I can offer is on a personal level to practice kindness everyday.  I will screw up...someone will cut me off on the freeway or try my patience at a check out line but I will work on reminding myself to be kind.  It's all I've got to give right now.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

the root of the problem...or a remedy for bad hair days don't know what to say about my hair lately.  For a while there I could go a couple of days between shampoos and just go with some handy dandy dry shampoo.  Then all of a sudden it seemed like even right out of the shower it was greasy.  I didn't know what to do, it's not like I use a ton of products. I don't overdo it on the conditioner either.  Very frustrating.  

I opted to try out Lush's shampoo bar.  Visited my local Lush and they gave me a few options.  I picked out Seanick (1.9 ounce bar is $11.95) because I liked the scent and also because of the beachy/ocean factor.  It's main ingredients are Nori Seaweed, Sea Salt, and Lemon Oil.  It's for sure got the refreshing factor. 
Seanik Solid Shampoo ($11.95)

After just one use I was amazed! I wasn't sure if I would like using a bar on my hair, but it came out so clean, shiny, and soft.  I lathered it up some and really worked the roots and the underside where I has having my major oil issues.  It seriously felt like after visiting the hairdresser clean.  I almost couldn't wait to wash my hair again, but I did to see how long this amazingness would last.  Looks like I can go back to every second or third day shampooing again (which I prefer as my hair is super fine and needs a little something to get any kind of volume).  

Lush gave me a sample of their "Big" another shampoo with sea saltiness and oil fighting factors.  This comes in their standard black tub for $27.95...haven't tried it as yet because I'm enjoying my purchase and don't know that I'll purchase in the future because I don't love the idea of spending almost $30 on shampoo (I'll say that maybe 13 bucks is my limit.
Lush Lip Service lip balm ($7.95)
Once at the register I picked up a tin of "Lip Service" lip balm...I can never have enough of these because I love them (and sadly also tend to lose them...which is why I like to have back up).

Do you have any Lush favorites?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A very merry Unbirthday for me When I was little my mom would sometimes pick up a bakery cake for no particular reason and she'd have them put "Merry Unbirthday" on it. She is  a fun lady like that. We'd also throw a party in the spring (usually May) because the weather was nicer and we didn't have to compete with the holidays.  

I think I'd like to go back to that.  As my 35th birthday is approaching I'm very aware of the fact that this is just not my season.  This particular time of year hits me pretty hard (as it has for the last several years).  Call it what you want "holiday blues" or whatever, I just find that for me everything begins a downhill slide after Halloween and doesn't necessarily pick up until sometime in the new year.  

I'd like to be cheerful for everyone and go out and celebrate and have fun for my birthday, but the further we get into the November/December holiday crush the more it seems like too much effort. 2016 then will be the year I bring back the Unbirthday.

My reasoning behind picking an Unbirthday:
  1. I am more of a summer person.
  2. Summer has better holidays (4th of July fireworks beat Thanksgiving turkey).
  3. It stays lighter later (I'm not adjusting to this time change well).
  4. I prefer iced tea to pumpkin spice anything.
  5. I'm not fond of the November birthstone (Topaz).
  6. Better beach and brunch weather.
  7. Alice in Wonderland is one of my all time favorite Disney movies.

Monday, November 2, 2015

those people at the gym

I am not an avid gym goer.  I am trying to workout more. I have a gym pass and would really like it if some of the people at the gym would stop annoying me. I mean it's hard enough to get myself motivated to even go sometimes let alone getting there and having to deal with the cougher, the cackler, and the texter.
(Seen here: The Texter...hard at work)
  • The Cougher is the one that should really be at home getting some rest.  They creep up next to you on the elliptical (or what have you) and then proceed to hack/cough/gag either on the equipment or into their hands which they then place back on the equipment.  This person never wipes down the machine when their done.
  • The Cackler is generally a woman, wearing more makeup that a prom queen and not much else...she always comes with a friend...always.  She will then proceed to laugh/cackle loudly and generally just likes to draw attention to herself.  You will hear her over whatever you have playing in your headphones...she will make sure of it. 
  • The Texters are fine when they are in the cardio area, I take no issue with the phone fiddlers when they are going 1 mph on a stationary bike.  I do take issue when they're on the machine in the weights area and just chilling.  In between sets? Okay, but when it's been like 10 minutes...not so much. 
Lastly, and I do hesitate to add this one because it's not very common...but I have to take a slight issue with bearded men at the gym.  Not all, just one guy in particular actually...he was kind of handsome.  Very handsome and just scruffy enough and kind of tall too.  Then I realized his shorts had a high school logo on them...eek!  It's not okay to look like a grown up man being all beardy and then wearing shorts meant for a high school boy.  It is too confusing and I don't appreciate it.   

The next time your at the gym and encounter any of the these people...know that you have my sympathy.  Don't let them stop you, go workout, in spite of them.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween Makeup Remover...from your kitchen

If you plans for Halloween include a lot of makeup (because it's awesome and fun and HALLOWEEN) then your plans should also include something to remove said makeup.  Now I tend to recommend items from name brands that I enjoy using however I don't want any of us using up tons of the good stuff on this project.  Enter: Coconut Oil.  I like the stuff in the jar from Trader Joe's but if you prefer someone other than Joe that's fine too.  

I suggest that before you head out on your Halloween evening that you set the coconut oil right on the bathroom counter...along with a dark towel.  This way it's right there when you get home...I'm always thinking of you my dear reader.  

Room temperature oil will be solid but will quickly melt as you gently (Key Word: gently) rub it in to remove the makeup.  Rinse and repeat as necessary...depending on how all out you went.  It will not be pretty, aren't you glad I told you to have that dark towel ready?  Follow up with your regular cleanser and a moisturizer, and go easy with your makeup the next day...give your skin some breathing room.  

Why am I suggesting coconut oil?  This guy sums it up best: "Coconut oil solubilizes or breaks up water-resistant substances used in eye shadow and mascara, releasing them from the skin and lashes," says cosmetic chemist Joseph Cincotta. And unlike a lot of traditional eye-makeup removers, it'll even leave your skin softer and younger-looking: "It's great for your skin, because it moisturizes and smooths," says Cincotta.  From Allure

Hope you have a very happy Halloween! Cheers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween Reads: My October Picks

Halloween Reads

These are the stories that I've been reading this month to totally be one with the holiday spirits.
  1. The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley's Masterpiece by Roseanne Montillo A lot of background into Mary Shelley's life and the science of the times.  Would totally recommend!
  2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley  After reading up on Mary, I had to read the story that brought her fame...which was originally published with as an writer Anonymous because who would think a woman could write such a thing? I really liked reading about Mary first then reading Frankenstein...but whatever order you choose is fine too. (PS: this title was available for free on my Kindle). 
  3. Dracula by Bram Stoker: This for me moved a little slowly, I need to remind myself that this was written before TV and movies...but overall it felt good to read about some early day vampires (you know before they got all sparkly and Hollywood).  (PS: another bargain as this title was under a dollar on Kindle)
  4. The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion by Jeff Baham: My least favorite read of this list...and it had so much potential.  It's got some decent trivia but it's so unorganized it just isn't worth paying for...luckily I borrowed this one for free.  Oh well, you win some you lose some. 
Happy Halloween...and as Elvira says "Unpleasant Dreams" 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

ULTA Spa Day

We get our ULTA catalogs every month.  Every month they have their specials for their salon and spa.  This month I decided to give it a go.

The one I went to didn't have a treatment room, just a small sectioned off space on the main floor.  No worries for me though if I can relax in a class full of people I can relax just about anywhere.  My skin therapist was super nice, we chatted for a bit about schools and such.  She had a very nice touch, gentle and relaxing.  

As far as Dermalogica goes, she used some items from their Ultra Calming line and some from their Age Smart line.  My skin is a little sensitive (it gets red very easily) and I tend to be more dry.  She gave me my face chart to show me her analysis of my skin which is awesome because it tells you exactly which product were used. My favorite product of this skin care session was the Age Smart MultiVitamin Power Firm for my eye area (and a little on the lip area). 

If you haven't checked out your local ULTA for their spa services it's worth looking into.  I think that finding a good skin therapist is a lot like finding the right hair stylist and manicurist.  You've got to try out a few (or a lot) to find the right one for you.  Overall, it was a really good experience.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

4 Tips to improve your Resume

These last few months have been spent taking classes at International Dermal Institute to prep myself to enter the working world of Esthetics and Skin Care.  It has been great to be able to take some classes without having to take off of work.  I'm just about ready to start sending out my applications and resume (I have just a couple more classes lined up that I'd like to take).  

Throughout this period I have been working on my resume, so I was happy to attend a Resume workshop at IDI.  I actually had a chance for a couple of recruiters to look at my resume and make some notes.  For those of you out there looking for a job let me share a few tips I learned. 

  • When you are applying online always be sure to include a cover letter, it's more necessary now than it used to be.  That being said, because you have the cover letter you no longer need the "objective" line on your resume.  
  • No need to add "References available upon request" as if you are filling out an'll have your references listed anyway.
  • Send a thank you e-mail to your interviewer.  In the past I have sent a thank you card, but it was pointed out that sometimes the interviewer is pressed for time in making their hiring decisions and e-mail arrives faster. (You can still send a thank you card).  
  • If you are e-mailing a resume be sure to be specific in your subject line.  Include information like position you are seeking and location if applicable...Recruiters have a lot of e-mails that just say Resume...make yours stand out.
I hope these help you.  Hoping these tips help me too!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Continuing my education...this time with M'Lis

Last year at the Long Beach Spa Conference I signed up for the M'Lis certification course.  I then went back to work and worked and worked and was not able to get to the course.  Fast forward to last month where I dug through my e-mails and asked the M'Lis educator if I still qualified to take the class...she said yes and today I headed down to Long Beach.

I don't know about you but I really like body treatments.  Whether it be an Infrared body wrap keeping you all toasty while you watch some Netflix or being all frosted up with contour cream and wrapped up in plastic.  I like it, can't really explain why...I just find it very relaxing.  

Bonus being that with the M'Lis wrap you lose inches.  Get wrapped up for 45 minutes and lose some inches...easy.  I also like that besides the wraps they do put a lot of focus on health/wellness.  They are really about taking care of yourself from the inside out. They are more than their wraps, they are all about resetting your body (through a cleanse...which I'm not quite ready for) and with supplements to keep you functioning at your best. 

I love taking all these different classes.  I really wish that taking classes could be my job. Oh well. 

Ps: Want to try an Infrared wrap near San Dimas? Try Infrared Body Wraps.
Care to try a M'Lis Body Contour Wrap? Click here for locations

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Trader Joe's for your fingers and toes

You just never know what you'll find at Trader Joe's.  Actually right now if you go you'll find pumpkin spiced everything...but that's not what I'm here to tell you about.  

My amazing find happened in their skin care section.  For a while now I've been trying to get my cuticles in to shape (I have a bad habit of picking at them...which just makes them look worse).  I would also like to continue wearing flip flops as long as our weather in southern California will let me (so yeah, pretty much year round).  Enter: Trader Joe's Head to Toe Moisturizing Balm. I've been using it every night for my hands and feet and in the last week there is a noticeable (to me) difference in how much softer my heels are and how much better my cuticles appear to be.  If you need a little more moisture anywhere else it's also supposes to be good for chapped lips, dry elbows and flyaway hairs.  About $4 for a 2 ounce tin and No Animal Testing.  Yay!

Another little bonus from Trader Joe's you can use in your nail routine...Coconut Oil Spray.  I painted my nails and when they were mostly dry (right about the time you touch something and make a mess of your manicure) I sprayed a light mist of the coconut oil on them and they are smudge free.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Being Wary of Awareness

Is it me or does it seem that October is like Everything Awareness month? I'm not complaining, being aware of causes and conditions is overall a good thing.  It just feels like all I'm hearing lately is that it's National ______ Awareness Month!  

The big one is Breast Cancer Awareness and the sea of pink we will find ourselves in throughout the month of October.  Again, awareness is a good thing and finding a cure would be amazing.  My only word of caution would be to be aware of where your charitable donations are going. (For instance, you wouldn't want to purchase a $50.00 pink ribbon product only to find out that $0.50 goes toward finding a cure right?)

(ps: this pic of Mitch is also my laptop's background)
Animal wise it's also Adopt A Shelter Dog Month and National Pit Bull Awareness Month.  Shelter pets are a cause near and dear to me...just ask my dog Mitch.  A great thing about shelters is that you can donate items that are needed directly to the shelter (blankets, toys, treats and much more).  I love that Best Friends LA has an Amazon Wishlist where you can send them items they really need directly.  As far as Pit Bulls go, I have to admit that the majority of my education has come from Animal Planet's Pit Bulls and Parolees show...they too have an Amazon Wishlist or options to sponsor a dog (Click here for a direct link to their site).

Awareness good...just do your research.  Here are a couple of links that breakdown info on different charities:

In case you were wondering October is also (but not limited to) being: Eczema Awareness Month, National Bullying Prevention Month, National CyberSecurity Awareness Month, National Fire Prevention Month, Eye Injury Prevention Month, National Physical Therapy Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and National Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  There are many more causes out there, this was just a small sample.  

What causes are near and dear to you?  Please share in the comments and help spread the word! 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Carry all...all that I carry in my bag

what's in my bag
I love flipping through a magazine and seeing a "what's in my bag" article.  I don't know why other peoples bags fascinate me so much but they do.  Hopefully this interests you too, otherwise you are not going to enjoy this post. 

  1. My bag itself is generally from a TJ Maxx or Ross...I go for the pleather/man made faux leather. 
  2. My wallet is a little Betsey Johnson that I picked up at a Nordstrom Rack forever ago...also a big fan of Target wallets.
  3. Lush Lip Service Lip Balm, I have about five of these floating around my life at any given time.  I use it throughout the day to keep my lips soft and I also use it for my cuticles occasionally. 
  4. Nars Lip Gloss in Orgasm.  I love this pink with a little orange shimmer. I'm not one for a bold lip color (as much as I love it on others) this one is just pink enough.
  5. Hello Kitty Band Aids, you would not believe how handy it is to have a couple of band aids on hand.  Not just for myself, but to hand out in a very minor part being when a guy needs a band aid and I offer up Hello Kitty.  
  6. Eminence Tea Tree & Mint Hand Cleanser...this has a fresh minty scent and feels moisturizing as well.  Sometimes menus just seem a little iffy.
  7. Nail file...I try to keep one handy (heehee handy) just in case of a snag.
  8. Tweezers, because sometimes you have a couple of minutes in the invisible bubble of your car and that rear view mirror catches every stray brow.
  9. NYX Blotting Paper: another small just in case item.
  10. Pill box, I try to carry a couple of migraine meds...because there is nothing worse than a migraine. Nothing.
  11. A fan, I picked up a pretty one for a couple of dollars a while back and it has more than paid for itself.  Baseball games, Monster Truck shows, waiting rooms...just bring a little breeze you can bring with you. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

My current go to hair style

half up top knots

When I pull up my hair in a ponytail or messy bun-like-thing I am made very aware of how fine my hair is.  That is why this is my current go to, a little up and a little down and very very easy.  Easy is what I need, there is a reason that I didn't go into Cosmetology.  This style seems to work well with every type of hair too (long/short/thick/thin).

My hair is stick straight too, if I add a little wave with a straightener/flat iron I use a little hair spray to make it stick (not sticky).  I use Jason's thin to thick **(very light scent, light hold).  If I'm on day two (or three) hair I also use a little dry shampoo too (fave being Lush's No Drought).  I love this dry shampoo...a little goes a long way and I've had this current bottle for a long time.  I only wish it came as a shaker.  

**A note on Jason's hair spray: Shop around, some prices are better than others.  

Friday, September 25, 2015

21 Days of Beauty...and my best buy

I love when ULTA has their 21 Days of Beauty...I've been trying to watch my budget lately so I didn't indulge myself too much. However, when they had Clarisonic brush heads for buy one get one free...well I could not pass that up.  (Total $27 for two!)

Image result for clarisonic mia
My Clarisonic Mia was probably one of my best purchases when I was a Macy's (employee discount woot woot).  It's been a few years now and I still love it.  Plug in to charge it every once in a while and change out the brush head every few months. Done. I've never tried the other brushes on the market because I've never needed to.  

You can use any type of cleanser you'd like with this brush, lately I've been using it with Murad's Essential-C Cleanser and Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant.  Exfoliating with the brush is really nice, it leaves your skin so soft and smooth.  Bonus being that when you give your skin a nice exfoliation your follow up (serums and moisturizers) will go on more smoothly and penetrate deeper into your skin.   

What has been your best beauty purchase?  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Meatless Monday (on a Tuesday)...a Lentil Chili recipe

Yesterday (Monday) I was in Long Beach at the Esthetics trade show so when I got home I wasn't exactly in the mood to cook dinner.  Thanks to frozen pizza and premixed salads I was good to go.  Today though I cooked.  

I have a turkey chili recipe that I pulled from a Shape magazine a couple years ago...I always tweak it a bit based on what I have on hand because I always seem to leave something at the grocery store.  This time I switched out the turkey for lentils.  See below for a little cut and paste of the original recipe with my tweaks are highlighted (or click here for the recipe directly from Shape).  It came out really well and looked nice and colorful with the spinach/cilantro/tomatoes.  

Firehouse Turkey Chili from Shape Magazine minus the turkey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed  (I just used garlic powder)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, divided (I chopped up cilantro, very fresh and tasty)
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey (subbed for Trader Joes' refrigerated lentils, 16oz)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced (skipped, didn't pick it up at store)
  • 1 cup carrot, diced (also forgotten at store...but I did use a couple of handfuls of chopped spinach that I wilted a bit in the pan first)
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Salt to taste


1. In a large saucepan heat oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Toss in garlic and all but 2 tablespoons of the scallions and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
2. Add turkey and continue to cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder and cook for 1 more minute. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, bell pepper, carrot, brown sugar, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat.
3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of scallions.  (Cut the cooking time to 10mins because of the lentils and sprinkled some cilantro on top)

What's cooking with you this week? Man, I crack myself up sometimes.  Really though, I love Pinterest for recipes and the occasional health magazine (some of those recipes seem like a lot of work though); where do you get your recipes from? Anything you'd like to share?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Long Beach Trade Show

Boldijarre Koronczay winner of the 2015 Visionary Award presented by the International SPA Association (CNW Group/Éminence Organic Skin Care)
Boldijarre Koronczay (he's from Hungary) President
of Eminence Organics
How do I love a trade show? Let me count the ways...
1. Shopping and samples
2. Classes and demos

Yeah, technically it's not a lot list wise but multiply it into a convention center and you've really got something there.  Bonus: I won a raffle in one of the classes (a book, a shirt, and a box of detox tea), additional bonus: I got to test drive a treatment with The Contour Light (a magical machine that breaks down your fat cells and helps you to lose inches...a $100 value).

I watched some awesome demos of which I would love to continue my education in a little further down the road.  The first of which is a bamboo facial massage using warm bamboo.  The woman doing this demo had a lovely french accent and was so relaxing that I almost fell asleep watching the massage (in a nice way).  Today I watched a demo using Kansa wand as part of a facial massage and I sat there thinking "Man, I want to do this too!!".

Example of a Kansa Wand
 from Diamond Way Ayurveda

Which leads into the shopping...I gave myself a very small budget, but I splurged and bought some Eminence products anyway.  They just smell so lovely and work so hard to make their booth amazing.  They have demos at their booth all day and they give so much info.  I also picked up some can't beat wholesale (I'm guessing) prices.

After visiting this year I was realizing that somewhere down the line I would like to teach Esthetics. I love taking classes and learning more and more about the skin care industry.  There is always something new, unfortunately in school the focus is mainly state board.  Don't get me wrong students need the state board stuff but there is so much more that I wish that I had been exposed to.

Links from the stuff I liked in Long Beach:
Diamond Way Ayurveda (Kansa Wand Face Massage)
Eminence Organics (Official Website)
Ageless Health / Dr. Rhonda Donahue (Healthy Living/Supplements/Contour Light)
M'lis (Detoxing and Body Wraps...I'll have a certification class in October)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A tasty dish: Corn Salad

The LA County Fair is in town, which I love...and there is so much that I love:
Ok, this wasn't at the Fair, you can't pet them there.
  • Farm animals and their BABIES
  • Budweiser Clydesdale Horses 
  • The Garden Railroad
  • The Table Settings competition 
  • Browsing the shopping areas
  • FOOD.  
Now I've been going to the fair ever since before I can remember.  I have some vague memories of a stroller and the Giant Slide.  In all the years that I've been going though I've never been to a BBQ Competition.  My friend's fiance entered a very tasty tri-tip sandwich with a spicy spread on a glazed donut, bacon chips, and a corn salad (he took home a Second Place Ribbon).

I'm not a BBQ-er myself.  I enjoy the taste, but I'm just more of an indoor cook.  So of his menu I decided that I needed to come home and make some corn salad of my own.  I'm not one to make up a recipe from scratch either...but I can tweak a recipe like nobodies business, which is what I did with this recipe from Six Sisters' Stuff. My changes included adding spinach to the corn at the end of heating (because I have WAY too much spinach on hand right now).  Instead of mayonnaise I used some Vegenaise and plain Greek yogurt. I omit the jalapeno but doubled up on the cilantro.  I also went with fat free Feta crumbles.  Lastly, I used onion and garlic powder--because I'm lazy like that.  It came out fantastic!  I would never have even looked for a recipe like this if it weren't for the LA County Fair.  

Any county fair memories you'd like to share?  What's your favorite part?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Multi-masking on a Monday

It has been brought to my attention (whilst continuing my education in skin care) that my skin is dry. In an effort to boost my moisture content I'm giving myself a little masking session.
Korres "Beauty Shots"

I received this set as a gift (it's by Korres and was from Sephora...but it doesn't look like the set is available anymore; the individual masks are about $18/per 1.7oz) Click here for the Korres Nectarine mask at Sephora.  I'm currently using the Nectarine (Moisturizing) and Watermelon (Hydrating) masks.  The other two masks in this set are Cranberry (Lifting) and Grapefruit (Brightening)...but as I'm focusing on my dry skin these didn't really seem to blend into my treatment for tonight. That and if I were to layer all four of these I may begin to feel like a fruit cocktail.

My main areas of dryness are my cheeks and forehead (thank you to some skin analysis from my fellow post grad skin therapists). The minimum time is about 15 minutes for these (and most) masks. As I find myself watching reruns on TV and figure I'll be up for a while, my face will be here for a while.  To really up the "pro" factor I did apply these with a fan brush.

Ps: Nectarines are probably my favorite fruit...this mask is delightful.

Other masks I like:
Lush's Oatfix (keep it refrigerated) $6.95/2.1 oz: for dry skin (and people who like bananas)
Lush's BB Seaweed (also refrigerated) also $6.95/2.1 oz for most skin types and good for sensitive skin as it is soothing.
The Body Shop's Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleep Mask $30.00/3.1 oz which you can totally sleep in...just try to start on your back so you don't rub too much off on a pillowcase, I myself happen to be a tosser and turner (see my previous entry on this gem here).

Any masks out there you want to throw into the mix?? Let me know!

Cheers to you and a happy week all!